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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Great cookbook for beginner or experienced cooks

    I absolutely identify with Ms. Alter’s Gourmet on a Hot Plate. I, too, live in a tiny apartment, though I do have a oven. It’s 3/4 size of a regular oven and runs at least 50 degrees hotter than the actual temperature settings. Sometimes, I feel like I might be better off with a hot plate! The section where Ms. Alter writes about downsizing also resonates. Most of my pans and kitchen equipment currently reside in the bedroom closet, as there is no storage space in my kitchen. The minimalist list of kitchen necessities is a great starting point for anyone establishing or downsizing a household. She is certainly correct in stating that: “Simplicity may be the key to cooking in a small space.” I’ve found that to be very true. When I read recipes that have too many steps or ingredients, I pass right by that recipe. The conversational writing style of Gourmet on a Hot Plate is concise and enjoyable to read. Most recipes have a quick blurb or explanation that enhances the cook book. Ms. Alter encourages her readers to adapt the recipes for their own tastes. This is great for me. I hard pass on recipes with mushrooms and/or asparagus. It’s good to know that I can adapt the recipes to suit my taste. The layout of this cook book is clear and easy to follow. From appetizers to main dishes, sauces and condiments, the majority of categories are covered. Desserts are missing. Maybe Ms. Alter is not a sweets person? My favorite sections in Gourmet on a Hot Plate are Skillet Meals and Light Meals. I live for one pan meals (fewer dishes!). I’m also a recent convert to lighter meals. It’s nice to see a cook book focusing on smaller portions. The skillet suppers are heavy on the egg dishes. I’ve realize now that I should be eating eggs at more than just breakfast. I didn’t have time to test any of the recipes in this book, but the Shakshuka is on the top of my testing list. I keep looking at different recipes for shakshuka, but other recipes seem to be overly complicated or enough portions to feed 12. The recipe here is more my style, not too many ingredients and serves 2. Overall Gourmet on a Hot Plate is a great cookbook for beginner or experienced cooks.

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